Here is an interesting essay to ponder as we wake in our fast-growing, ever more cosmopolitan, yet proudly local (if not weird) city. From Mark Mitchell via Front Porch Republic
What I am suggesting represents something of a third way that avoids the cosmopolitan temptation while at the same time shuns any aggressive tribal reaction. This third alternative, what we might call humane localism, appreciates the variety and differences between cultures and thus resists the homogenizing impulse that is so strong in modern liberal democracies. It recognizes that the language of global village represents an abstraction that will never satisfy human longings. It is characterized by a love for one’s particular place and the people thereof. Yet at the same time this humane localism is not animated by fear of the other, for by an act of imagination it sees through the inevitable differences and recognizes the common humanity we all share. It recognizes that we are all living souls with needs and longings that bind us together even as the particulars of our own places remind us of our distinctness. In short, humane localism is rooted in respect, not in homogeneity; in love of one’s place, not hatred of other places; and in the realization that human flourishing is best realized in the company of friends and neighbors sharing a common place in the world.